The Australian Government is inviting primary and secondary schools to participate in a series of School Summits in the lead-up to the Australia 2020 summit on 19–20 April 2008. Schools Summits will be held by individual schools over a three-week period, starting on 17 March 2008. There are ten critical areas for consideration based on the format of Australia 2020. Schools wishing to hold a School Summit need to complete the online registration form by 12 March 2008.
National Youth Week runs from 5 to 13 April 2008. The theme this year is ‘Shout.Share.Live.Unite’ with youth being encouraged to take the opportunity to voice their opinions and get involved in their local community. The talent competitions are an opportunity for musicians, writers, movie-makers, photographers, artists and designers aged 12–25 to make their mark.
The Australian College of Educators will hold its annual conference over 13–15 April 2008. The conference theme is 'Imagination, Inspiration and Innovation', designed to challenge thinking, encourage reflection on current practice and ignite the passion of the profession.
The Australian School Library Association will host an international online conference from 5 to 26 May 2008 exploring the educational potential of a globally connected world. The conference theme is 'A World Without Walls' and comprises three conference strands: Digital Literacy, Digital Environments, and Digital Pedagogy.
More Queensland state schools are to be modernised and their facilities opened up to local communities under the State Government’s State Schools of Tomorrow initiative. Parents and local communities across Queensland are being invited to consider what schools should look like and what facilities they have, as well as what schools they need for the future and where they should be located. The regional offices of the Queensland Department of Education are preparing submissions and welcome input from schools and their communities. New facilities and resources will include bigger and more flexible classrooms, and modern communications technology and undercover play and assembly areas. There are possibilities for community use of some school facilities, such as auditoriums, performing arts complexes, multimedia centres and libraries. For further details see Minister's media release 27 February 2008.
The Queensland Government has allocated $6.2 million over three years to promote the benefits of school-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SATs) and assist schools to meet expected increases in demand. State Education and Training Minister, Rod Welford, has launched a new document, School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships: The Queensland Government Agenda, that identifies nine key strategies to promote the plan. See Minister's media release 26 February 2008.
An article in The Australian, 26 February 2008 reports on an interview with former President of the NSW Board of Studies, Gordon Stanley. Mr Stanley 'nominates the integration of vocational courses in the HSC as one of his biggest successes' but has also suggested that students may now be offered 'too much' subject choice. More generally he has called for close evaluation of the academic benefits of current education reform intiatives, the report says.
The South Australian Primary Mathematics Association is presenting a range of learning opportunities covering the early to middle years across South Australia in March 2008.
The Victorian Government has expanded its plan to build schools in partnership with private companies. See media release by State Education Minister, Bronwyn Pike, 21 February 2008 and article in The Age 22 February 2008.
Teachers in Victoria and Western Australia are continuing industrial campaigns around pay and contract teaching. For details of Victorian issues see article 26 February 2008 and subsequent report 27 February 2008 in The Age. For coverage of the campaign in Western Australia see article in Perth Now (Sunday Times) 22 February 2008 and report 21 February 2008 in The Age. See also article on news.com.au 28 February 2008 and bulletin from the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union 21 February 2008.
An article in the Sydney Morning Herald, 22 February 2008 describes different prespectives on funding formulas for schools in the Catholic and Independent sectors.
The Modern Language Teachers' Association of Victoria Annual Conference for 2008 will be held on Friday 9 May. Major themes include LOTE in VELS, assessment, intercultural language learning, VCE LOTE, and the launch of Olympic Resources for Primary Language Teachers to celebrate the International Year of Languages. A particular highlight will be presentations by teachers who have taken part in the Action Research Projects funded through the DEECD Strategic Partnerships Program.
In Japan, students in years 5 and 6 will be required to study English. Until now primary schools have offered English lessons at their discretion as part of a general studies class. See article in Daily Yomiyuri Online, 21 February 2008.